Sunday, May 16, 2010

East to Berwick-upon-Tweed

Paxton House, a mid-eighteenth century mansion in Berwickshire, was my destination yesterday. Co-incidentally it was also the destination for the Wigton Motor Club's 'Geordie Gallop'.

You can read all about the house and estate on the website here.

Paxton House itself is fascinating. Jackie, a volunteer guide, made the tour both interesting and informative. Here we are in the library in the nineteen century extension.

The main reason for my visit to Paxton yesterday was to see the Picture Gallery, which became in 1993 the first of the National Galleries of Scotland's partner galleries. The selection of paintings on show has been made to complement the history of Paxton House. Most are from the National Galleries' reserve collection.

There is a curling connection (the stimulus for my visit) and this will likely be a subject of a future post on the curling blog.

Curling aside, I learned much about the art collection from another knowledgeable volunteer Mary-Ann. Paxton is well worth a visit. Another of my recommendations! You won't be disappointed.

My next stop was at this level crossing on the main East Coast line near Scremerston, where there used to be an old station.

I was waiting to catch sight of LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60019 Bittern, pulling the Steam Dreams 'The Coronation' railtour from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley.

Thanks to a fellow trainspotter John, who took the time to guide me to this excellent spot to watch the loco pulling away from its water stop at Berwick-upon-Tweed, I was able to enjoy Bittern working hard on the upslope north of the station.

It really made my day. I've always had a soft spot for these streamlined A4s.

I was interested to see 60019 sporting a double tender.

Pics © Skip Cottage

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